Tuesday, July 19, 2005

First Blue Marlin in Costa Rica

If you are reading this for the first time, I am taking off from International Intrigue, an adventure of a lifetime, experiencing a month in Costa Rica. Within the first couple weeks, Mr. Happy and I had made many friends from locals, business owners to our favorite bartenders. Happy was new to salt water fishing but I had been billfishing in tournaments for a long time. My list caught had included most all types of big game fish, White Marlins, Sailfish, Bull Dolphins, Wahoos, Tuna to Grouper, Bonefish in Venezuela as well as Bonita (smiling) bloody big fighting bait fish and many more. (Read my post Florida Marlins on more fishing stories)

Back then it was about a $1000 to charter a boat for 2 people to go all day seeking that sought after Big Blue. C.R. also has the rare Black Marlin, but unfortunately it lives in different places in not so clear water near the bottom. So the decision was made to go out a few miles for better chances at one of my life time dreams. We were lead to this real nice guy named Mike (from TX but residing there for about 10 yrs) that lived on the outskirts of town. He owned the biggest sportsfishing boat, if memory has it a 28’ Topaz. After he came back over to visit us at sunset (oh wow, another story) a schedule was set up for a few trips within our time table.

We are headed out early, after meeting for breakfast as the temperature is rising on a hot gorgeous day. Mike was determined we were going to get our monies worth, and his mate was friendly and generous to share his stash and make our trip as comfortable as possible speaking little English. With trolling in water that was crystal blue clear, you could see down about 15 to 20 feet or more. Staring down into the deep, you would see all types of the ocean’s creatures.

The etiquette of the fighting chair varies on TIME spent for your turn, but it always rotates from person to person. I am glad that day I volunteered to go second. Mike knew where to go and he believed in light tackle, teasers along with tag and release. Great news for me, because I do not want to kill these rare and beautiful fish. Blessings were granted to me with stepping back and following. Happy and I caught 60-80 pound sailfish. (They are the most fun and breathe taking to look at spinning in the air) They are like Marlins depending on where they are hooked, top or bottom of their bills, they will dance and fly up out of the water and put on a hell of a show. Marlins though, do this as long as they can fight and see who will win, for up to 20 minutes or hours and sometimes they will often break the line and escape. Never let them get too much loose line, rule number one.

I got my first Rooster Fish that day too, that lives in that part of the world. (Fantastic) It is a weird looking fish that goes well on my list, and heard about by other international fish people. Time past for awhile with no bite, music playing, getting sun, drinking plenty beer and I was waiting for a swift move to the chair. If you desire one of the biggest rushes of all, wait until the moment Big Blue sneaks up to the surface and slaps some slow moving bait barely on top of the water when no one is expecting it. Trained eagle eyes will see him, as his bill will poke up like a little stick, a foot out of the water. Then everyone shouts out with hearts pumping shuffling into their positions. You are on the greatest natural high, one can be on. Your adrenalin is off the charts, where you legs are trembling with anticipation. B-A-M! He is hooked within a few minutes by the jerk of the boat’s acceleration, we witnessed his resistance as Big Blue is going to put up a fight and take the line away from the boat to the bottom. No one is absolute that it is Him; speculation is assumed for a short time. All you can do is pump the rod and reel with both hands, as the boat is now backing up straight and slowly in Blue’s direction without getting slack in the line. Everyone is “Screaming out commands”, that always happens, even if it is just the excitement or expertise of everyone’s experiences along with a thrilling feeling.

As I feel the strain of being strapped in and snapped up to the twisting fighting chair, the mate is spinning me directly in line with the my Blue and the boat. Sweat is running down my body, as Happy does what we all know to do and pours a bucket of water over my head to keep me going. No matter how grueling it can be, you never give up and hand off. All our eyes are fixated on Blue to come up, and then your chances are better to keep him there so you can get him in. BAM again, there HE IS!! His body comes completely out of the water in one great big jump and several thereafter. I swear I was shaking like a HOLY ROLLER and screaming like I was talking in tongues or something. Just too freakin unreal to say the least, like you are in no man’s land with your viewed surroundings only by water and no land in site. I finally wore him down after about an hour and half, and now the video was running by Happy in one hand and a camera in the other. BTW, he wasn’t very good with either, unfortunately. (Smiling) MY BIG BLUE MARLIN is now on the side of the boat still fighting. All good captains or bill fishermen know how to measure their girth and length to determine their weight, looks like mine is about 350 lbs, so awesome for me. Not bad at all, (deep breathing, shaking all over and crying with joy) it did not even mater that my best girl friend had a record of over 700 lbs on weigh in at the Lady's Tournament. That was fine with me though, I was just the happiest person on earth knowing I had finally got him. Marlins do magic when they get caught and are close to the boat, they LIGHT UP! Meaning they change colors of florescence and it is something to see, believe me. Best described is like in a rainbow sorta, or mystical happening with glowing colors not quite able to put to words. The mate wrestled with the steel leader connected to the hook to hold on to HIM, the best he could, while Mike retrieved the pliers to remove the hook from his bill while tagging Him. I can not end the story here though, because we witnessed something very few in a life time ever sees later that day. (Tagging has your name and address on it, it is your fish, the day you caught him and the the weight. In case later he gets caught again, they contact you)

You are flying on a huge adrenalin rush for hours after something like that, everyone feels it. That is all you can talk about and pumped up to get another one. Not long afterwards, yes it was my turn again! (Smiling) Something huge had hit the bait, before I could get in the chair, thousands of yards of line was spinning off the reel rapidly. It makes this whistling sound that you never forget. We are all scrambling but watching at the same time best we could, I am screaming get the video quick like a.s.a.p.! (Smiling) No time though, this grander (a Marlin a 1000 pounds or more) came out of the ripple of 2-4 feet seas like a huge monster that lived in the deep. He came straight up one time, if you were looking else where, you would have missed it. This freaking awesome incredible BLUE MARLIN was nothing like I had ever seen before, it was too unbelievable to be even be looking at, much less ever heard much about. Apparently he had been snagged and not hooked so almost impossible to do anything but watch for those few minutes. As HE DANCED completely out of the water it was like he was saying “ADIOS’ YOU M. F**Kers” while he quickly dumped the complete reel within seconds it seemed. The LINE was GONE, all of it and HIM too!! (Snapped, broke and gone) Never ever seen or even imagined something like this. We all looked with amazement in awe as we were stunned beyond belief of what we had encountered.

P.S. Guess I have to finish this post about my girl friend arriving to join us, but this story deserved a post of its’ own, in my opinion. More will come as I am able to write. I would love to hear if any of you has fishing stories, Costa Rica experiences or anything you wish to comment on. Love you guys. To be continued. Apologies here for bits and pieces!
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